My poor neglected blog! Not only have I not been updating as regularly, I’ve also not been responding to comments or keeping up with all blogs I read. I have two scapegoats: the upcoming Keresimesi (Christmas) season and the snow! We had a huge snowstorm last night…and the snow continues to fall nearly 24 hours later. At least 15cm of snow has fallen so far, and more is on the way. I guess my days of being thankful for no snowfall are at an end.
I went on a bit of a road trip with my friends almost two weekends ago and during the trip one friend asked me if I could imitate a Yoruba accent (or sound Nigerian generally). I thought I could speak a complete sentence and sound like my mom (I normally sound like this, from this entry) but instead I sounded like Jimmy Jean-Louis in that movie, Phat Girlz (anyone else brave enough to admit they saw it?).
So although I wouldn’t pass as a Nigerian by sound alone, my understanding of Yoruba and my vocabulary continue to improve, thanks to online resources such as the Learn Yoruba site and friends that let me type to them in Yoruba. I’m shy to speak Yoruba because I know there are some words that have several meanings and while mispronouncing eyin (a word that can mean back, teeth, or egg and “you people” (or is that e yin two words?) will just make people laugh (if I happen to say that my eggs hurt instead of my teeth), but using the incorrect pronunciation of the word for farm (oko) could have me referring to a man’s private part if I put the emphasis on the wrong part of the word, hehe. And also, some people don’t hesitate to laugh at my attempts to sound like a proper Yoruba girl….hmmph!
My pidgin is also improving, thanks to blogville in particular, both through those crazy people who sometimes blog entirely in pidgin (hi sting!) and those other crazy people on twitter. I don’t feel brave enough to hold a conversation in pidgin because I’d sound like such a fraud, but I like whipping out a line or two when chatting online every now and then.
Anyway, back to how people sound: I personally love the Nigerian accent, and maybe when I say “Nigerian accent” I really mean Yoruba accent, because that is the one I’m most familiar with. And when a Yoruba man with a deep and velvety voice is crooning to me
on the phone in my dreams…mmm mmm mm! I’m also partial to the Naija/British mix, but really it’s a guy who can speak Yoruba in ways my lips and tongue only dream of mastering that turn my crank. Phew! But enough about me and what I like: what do you sound like? Naija for life regardless of where you live? A mix of Nigerian and North American? Or Nigerian and British? Or Scottish? Maybe Australian and Nigerian (I want to hear this one o!)? Auditory evidence is welcome. And on the other side, what sort of accent turns your crank?
(And yes I know there are many ranges and variations of intonations within Nigerian, British, American, Canadian, Scottish, Australian, etc. accents but don’t deny that if you hear someone speaking before you see them, you can guess with almost 100% accuracy that they are from somewhere in Nigeria, even if you don’t know exactly where!)
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